Open letter: regarding usage based billing for internet services

TORONTO, Feb. 1 /CNW/ -

The Honourable Tony Clement
Minister of Industry
C.D. Howe Building
235 Queen Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5

Dear Minister Clement:

On behalf of the 107,000 members of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), I am writing to express our strong concern with a recent decision of the CRTC regarding usage based billing for internet services (CRTC2011-44).  The effect of this decision, should cabinet not overturn it, would be significant for small businesses in Canada, particularly as they come out of the recent recession.  The vast majority of smaller firms rely on reasonably priced internet services to help them run their operations. 

While all small businesses would face fee increases for internet access and usage, small, independent Internet Service Providers would be especially hard hit in their ability to offer reasonably priced and creative services.  In addition, many of the most innovative firms in Canada - including the high-tech sector - would face potentially dramatic increases in their costs. 

On the whole, small firms would be directly harmed in their ability to compete both in Canada and on the world stage.  We understand that the comparable cost per gigabyte would likely increase to a rate far higher than with comparable companies in the United States.  If we are to compete and continue to lead the G8, this decision would make it all the more difficult for Canada to do so. 

As government is counting on entrepreneurs and small business owners to create jobs coming out of the recession, a large fee increase is the last thing they need.  Moving ahead would be a serious setback for Canada in 2011 - recently declared by your government as the 'Year of the Entrepreneur'.

We hope you consider the implications of this decision on the small business community in Canada and overturn CRTC 2011-44.

We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Dan Kelly
Sr. Vice-President, Legislative Affairs


SOURCE CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

For further information:

To arrange an interview with Dan Kelly, please call Gisele Lumsden: cell: 647-808-5769 or email:public.affairs@cfib.ca

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CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

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